UKCHH: Choosing the best hypnotherapy course and training

How to Find the Best Hypnotherapy Training
Some Advice on Choosing an Accredited Course

The Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy qualification is a Level 4 award on the Government’s National Qualification Framework (NQF).  The UK College are currently the first and only training school in the country to offer this award to its students.   The Diploma is recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH), for accreditation purposes, as equivalent to the HPD which we previously awarded to students.

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If you are considering studying hypnosis, especially if you want to train as a hypnotherapist, it is important to find a course that suits you and is of an adequate professional standard.  We work hard to ensure that our own hypnotherapy training programme is the very best available anywhere in the UK or elsewhere in the world.  When choosing a training course, therefore, we recommend that you consider the points below.

By dividing our training programme into three stages or modules we believe we have provided a route whereby students can get started with basic hypnotherapy techniques in the shortest possible time, while still fulfilling the standard requirements for professional registration.

The hypnotherapy profession is currently led by a small group of independent, self-regulatory organisations.  Contrary to speculation, there are no plans for it to be regulated by law.  Click here for a press release from the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) explaining the current state of hypnotherapy regulation in more detail.  It states, “All training schools that are accredited by the NCH are in a good position to be able to adhere to any structures and requirements when and if these are created.”  The best guide to obtaining an authoritative qualification in hypnotherapy, therefore, are the National Occupational Standards, described below.

The National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy

Our training programme is based upon the new National Occupational Standards (NOS) for Hypnotherapy published in 2002 by Skills for Health, the Government’s Sector Skills Council for the UK health industry.

National Occupational Standards for Hypnotherapy
Unit 1.1
Assess the needs of the client
Unit 1.2
Treat the client
Unit 1.3
Educate the client to adopt self-care procedure(s)

Many older courses run by other training providers do not meet these industry standards. 

The National Qualification Award (Level 4)

By ensuring that our course meets these criteria, we are able to offer students the externally-awarded Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy issued by NCFE.  NCFE, formerly the Northern Council for Further Education, is a registered educational charity and officially recognised as a National Awarding Body by the Government’s Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). 

The Diploma is classed as a “Level 4” vocational qualification on the National Qualifications Framework, defined as follows,

Level 4 qualifications recognise specialist learning and involve detailed analysis of a high level of information and knowledge in an area of work or study.  Learning at this level is appropriate for people working in technical and professional jobs, and/or managing and developing others.  Level 4 qualifications are at a level equivalent to Certificates of Higher Education.  (The Qualifications & Curriculum Authority)

By comparison, this is the same level as a Level 4 NVQ, BTEC Professional Diploma, or a university Certificate of Higher Education (CertHE).  The National Occupational Standard units have been correlated against the NHS Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) by Skills for Health. 

“One-year Diplomas” & Course Length

Don’t be fooled by courses that advertise as being “one year” long.  Traditionally many therapy courses ran one weekend a month spaced out over roughly a year, totalling about 20 days of classroom training.  This format of training is less popular now than in the past, as it takes more time and means more travel for most students.  Spacing the training days so far apart helps some students take time to study while at home but others may find it means they forget some of the material they studied the previous month and “lose momentum.”

Most of our students prefer to train in an “intensive” format, composed of three stages of seven consecutive days each, totalling 21 days of classroom training, approximately .  This means that our training programme is actually composed of more classroom attendance than most “one year” diploma courses, but takes place over a shorter period of time.  We are therefore able to offer a higher level of independently-awarded qualification than many courses which take place over a longer period of time.

Diploma / Certificate / Advanced / Master

Students often become confused by course titles.  It is important to realise that throughout UK education and training the terms “diploma” and “certificate” are not standardised.  Our certificate course, e.g., is of a higher level than many “advanced diploma” courses.  Likewise, terms like “advanced hypnotherapy”, “advanced diploma”, or “master hypnotist” is of no objective significance in the hypnotherapy field.  Many courses describing themselves as “advanced” are actually of a very elementary level.  Some “master hypnotist” training courses are only a few days long and teach hypnosis as an aside to other topics.  Also you can become an NLP “Master Practitioner” with a one week training course. We’d advise you to think carefully about whether those titles really stand for anything.

For this reason, in an attempt to standardise qualification descriptions across the UK, the Government have introduced the National Qualification Framework (NQF) which consists of numbered levels against which the standard of a course can be measured.  You are strongly encouraged, when comparing courses, to ask course providers what level their training is classified as being on the national framework.  As explained above, our diploma is classed as a level 4 qualification, making it one of the highest standard hypnotherapy training courses available in the UK.

UK Register of Learning Providers

You should ensure that the company providing your training course is formally registered with the UK Register of Learning Providers (UKRLP).  This is a database of legally constituted training organisations, maintained by the Government’s Department for Education and Skills.

External Course Accreditation

There are also several independent national bodies which provide a system of voluntary regulation for the hypnotherapy field. For example, a good indication of the standard of a training course is that it is accredited at either ‘Foundation’ or ‘Practitioner’ level by the General Hypnotherapy Standards Council (GHSC), or at least meets the standards of such accreditation.  Our diploma training has multiple accreditation from the GHSC, the National Council for Hypnotherapy (NCH) and The Register for Evidence-Based Hypnotherapy & Psychotherapy.  Beware of courses which are only accredited by overseas organisations, such as American registers.  Hypnotherapy courses should be accredited by professional bodies in their own country.  Foreign organisations are not designed to serve the needs of UK residents or to handle the legal or professional issues relating to practice in this country.  They are often used to confer credibility on training courses which do not meet UK standards.

Stage I: Certificate in Evidence-Based Hypnosis
Seven Days

The Stage I, our Certificate, consists of one week of intensive study. Students at this level may also apply for ‘Student’ membership of REBHP and NCH.
This certificate course is not formally assessed. You will receive a certificate of attendance and can use the post-nominals, Cert EBH.

Stage II:  Certificate in Behavioural Hypnotherapy
Seven Days

The Cert CBH is an intermediate qualification designed to help students and currently trained hypnotherapists to integrate hypnotherapy with cognitive behavioural therapy – particularly behavioural therapy approaches. This certificate course is not formally assessed. You will receive a certificate of attendance and can use the post-nominals, Cert BH.

Stage III:   Certificate in Cognitive Hypnotherapy
Seven Days

The Stage III course completes the classroom training element. Students then are required to complete a written assessment which leads to the Diploma in Cognitive-Behavioural Hypnotherapy award issued by NCFE.  This is a Level 4 qualification on the qualifications credit framework. It is accepted as equivalent to the HPD (Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma) by NCH (The National Council of Hypnotherapy) – allowing you to be fully registered with NCH.  Graduates will also be eligible to apply for professional registration as a hypnotherapist at full ‘Registered’ level with the General Hypnotherapy Register (GHR). Registration with NCH or GHR will allow graduates to also register with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) – a government accredited national register of hypnotherapists. Graduates may also eligible for registration with the REBHP as a ‘Licentiate’ Clinical Hypnotherapist.

Home Study

People often ask us about “Home Study” or “Distance Learning” courses in hypnotherapy. We do not recommend that students undertake home study alone as a preparation for practice as a clinical hypnotherapist. In our view, hypnotism and therapy are both practical skills that are best learnt in a classroom setting through practical exercises and group interaction. As a new hypnotherapist it is important to both your self-confidence and professional credibility that you have received the highest quality experiential training.

Home study does, however, have an important role as an adjunct to practical, classroom training and some element of reading and homework is a requirement of any professional training which seeks to meet the standard criteria for full, independent hypnotherapy accreditation.  Completion of a good quality home study course may be of benefit to those seeking a general understanding of hypnosis or as preparation for beginning a classroom training.

A true training school or college?
Or a part-time business from someone’s living room?

Many hypnotherapy training courses are run on a part-time basis with just 4-5 people taking the course which is held in the trainer’s living room. Very often these courses don’t even end up happening because the trainer doesn’t have enough course registrations. We’ve had students who have had tried to take several training courses (three in one case) and each time the course was cancelled due to low student registrations.

Ask the training school how many students were in the last few courses.
Is the training run by a company or by a self-employed individual?

Also you can ask if they are registered for VAT. (Once a company has revenues over £79,000 per year they have to register for VAT). If a training provider is VAT registered then you can be sure that they have successfully held several trainings in the last year – while it is no guarantee they are more likely to be running the training on a more professional basis.

Good luck choosing a training. If you have any questions or want any advice we are happy to help. You can email us or call us on 0207 112 9040.

The UK College of Hypnosis & Hypnotherapy.